One question had to weigh heavy on Gennady Golovkin’s mind sitting across from Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the press conference Thursday.
It’s a question the online betting community is asking as well.
As Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn held court, GGG was calm and collective as he answered questions as only he can answer them – with the GGG non-answer.
But the question remains: Is Gennady Golovkin willing to go to war with Canelo Alvarez on Saturday?
One thing is for sure. At 40 years old, Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) has to be extremely prepared going into Saturday with Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs), 32.
Golovkin took it to Canelo in the first fight five years ago, but left with an unsatisfactory draw that many critics thought he had won. The second fight in 2018 saw Canelo make some adjustments to take some of the aggressiveness out of Golovkin and take the decision win.
Canelo has been making history, becoming undisputed at super middleweight in 2021 and going unsuccessfully for light heavyweight earlier this year. Sure, GGG picked up the IBO and IBF middleweight belts in 2019, but has looked older and wooden in those fights.
Alvarez will be looking to atone for the loss in his previous fight and at 32 years old, once again will have the physical and psychological advantages going into the contest. Only one thing can really disrupt his plans and he was confident at the press conference.
GGG has to be willing to go to war. Like the first fight, but from the beginning. If he can hurt Canelo, make him second-guess himself early, win the early rounds convincingly and make the champion fight outside of his comfort zone, then he can take advantage of openings and fight his fight.
But Golovkin has to be willing to step into the line of fire and risk getting knocked out and hurt. Is he willing to do that? Only Golovkin truly knows that.
GGG was not willing to do it in the second fight, despite saying he would fight with the “Mexican Style.” He must do it Saturday, to stand a chance with the judges.
GGG still has his considerable army of fans. One of them is 11-time Canadian national flyweight champion and two-time Canadian Olympian Mandy Bujold.
“I thought GGG did enough to win the first one and Canelo won the second. The first one was the most exciting.”
The pressure may be on Canelo to atone for his last fight, but the pressure on GGG for a vintage performance is high as well.
Canelo vs. GGG 3 is set for Saturday Sept. 17 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It airs on DAZN pay-per-view beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The card is:
- Jesse Rodriguez vs. Israel Gonzalez for the WBC super flyweight title
- Ali Akhmedov vs. Gabriel Rosado; Super middleweight
- Austin Williams vs. Kieron Conway; Middleweight
- Diego Pacheco vs. Enrique Collazo; Super middleweight
- Marc Castro vs. Kevin Mendoza; Lightweight
- Aaron Apone vs. Fernando Molina; Super lightweight
- Anthony Herrera vs. Delvin McKinley; Super flyweight